Martial Arts Histories

The Order of things

  1. Background of KYOSHI EARLE MARVIN (1949-1995) Founder SOGO GOSHIN-DO
  2. History of Shotokan
  3. Okinawan Karate (Shotokan Karate-Do)
  4. Bio - of Professor Larry Hilton, Nippon Ketsugo Ryu JuJitsu
  5. Kenpo History
  6. A Personal note
  7. Extra Kenpo History Add Ons
  8. Some Famous Kenpo Martial Artists
  9. A Bit of Chito-Ryu History

This was origanaly posted by Christina Crank October 16, 1999.

Gecko K. Martial Arts was honoured to have been given permission to use this background by tbe original authour Sensei Sean Mann on April 7, 2002. Thank you.

Background of KYOSHI EARLE MARVIN (1949-1995) Founder SOGO GOSHIN-DO

Earle Marvin began his training in Shotokan karate in 1967. He continued training at Montreat Anderson Jr. College until 1969 with a Taiwanese karate stylists. Earle received no formal rank during this period but did build a strong foundation. This was realized and rewarded in 1978 when he began to study with Soke Albert Church. He was awarded his black belt in 1980 in Chinese Kempo. Earle also began studying Kobudo weapons with Church's top student (Soke) Ron Cherry and by 1987 Earle had been promoted to 5th degree black belt/Shihan in Cherry's AKKA Kempo-Karate. Earle continued to seek knowledge and has trained with the likes of Danny Inosanto in Filipino stick fighting and Master Kilinda in African Arts. In 1989 after less than 3 years as an official member of the Seishin Kai, Earle was awarded his 5th degree from Soke Shogo Kuniba who introduced Kuniba-Ryu Goshin-Do to Earle Marvin. In 1992 Kyoshi founded Sogo Goshin-Do as we know it and was promoted to 7th degree black belt and given the title Kyoshi by Soke Clement Reider and his sanctioning organization (SKKI). During Kyoshi Marvin's tenture in the martial arts he received high ranking black belts in many arts such as: Karate, Kempo, Ju-Jitsu, Kobudo, Ninjitsu, Tae Kwon Do, and Goshin-Do. However, this is much longer list than printed here but suffice it to say that Kyoshi Marvin's training was in depth and quite complete. However, he always continued to seek out new knowledge to pass on to his students. It should be noted that Shihan Sherry (Marvin) Hughes' martial arts career parallels Kyoshi's in many ways. She has trained in mostly every art that Kyoshi explored and holds belts in many arts herself including: Kempo, Karate, Tae Kwon Do, and Goshin-do. Shihan Sherry is currently a 5th degree black belt and is the second highest ranking black belt in Sogo Goshin-Do. She played an intergral part in the founding of our kai/ WKDA.

Sensei Sean Mann's web site:

Christina Crank's Home page:

Gecko K. Martial Arts was honoured to have been given permission to use this history by Kristy Warren October 12, 1999. Thank you.

History of Shotokan Karate-Do

In the late part of the 18th century the Chinese would display their Chinese boxing(Kung Fu) skills to the Okinawans on the Ryukyu islands. The Okinawans adopted Chinese boxing and changed the Chinese term to the Japanese term tode which later became to be known as karate.

The Okinawans practiced Ryukyu Kempo(pressure point fighting). Ryukyu Kempo consists of two components: Kyusho-jitsu(attacking pressure points) and Tuite-jitsu(joint manipulation). Anko Itosu, Master Funakoshi's teacher, was the first to openly teach Ryukyu Kempo. Up until then it was kept very secretative. He is actually the father of Karate-do. His dream was to "spread karate-do all over Okinawan and to the Japanese mainland". Master Funakoshi eventually fulfilled this dream when he took Karate-do to Japan.

Anko Itosu begin to teach karate-do to school children. To keep the children from hurting each other he took out the pressure point applications. Later, on March 6, 1921, when the emperor of Japan made a visit to Okinawa he was impressed by karate and wanted to learn more. Master Funakoshi then spent most of his time in Tokyo teaching and popularizing karate-do.

In 1936 the very first dojo was built in Japan. A committee of karate supporters voted to name the new dojo Shoto-kan, training hall of Shoto(Master Funakoshi's pen name). Since then, Karate-do has spread to all parts of the world. In this process, Karate has lost it's true meaning of pressure point fighting (Ryukyu Kempo).

You can see this history complete with pictures at

Gecko K. Martial Arts was honoured to have Sensei Frederick Parker submit this history October 12, 1999. Thank you.

A Short History of Okinawan Karate Specifically Shotokan Karate-Do

Native fighting systems have existed in Okinawa since the early 7th century, and were known simply as "Te" or "hand". The origins and influences of those arts are still hotly debated today. Most believe that the Chinese influence on Japanese and Okinawan martial arts began as early as the 4th century. We know that due to the trade alliances that were formed with Emperor Ming of China in the late 14th century by King Satto of Okinawa a massive exchange of information began. Included in those trade agreements were exchange programs for the citizens of both countries, as a result of these trade delegations and work programs Okinawans brought home new elements of the Chinese fighting arts and combined them with the existing form "Te" producing "Tode" or "Tang Hands". Until this point in its evolution Okinawa-Te had been characterized and recognized by its exclusive use of the closed fist, now influenced by China?s Ch?uan-Fa systems it developed a myriad of open-hand techniques including the "Nukite" and "Shuto" or the "Spear" and "Knife Hand." The kicking techniques that we see today in Okinawan martial arts are generally agreed upon as being a direct result of influence of Southern Ch?uan-Fa systems on Tode, including the advent of the bladed kick and rising kick.

In 1393 and group of Chinese ambassadors and administrators were sent to Okinawa by Emperor Hung Wu, they settled near Naha and were later referred to as "the thirty-six families"- a term used to designate a large group apart from the whole. It was then that Ch?uan-fa really began to spread throughout Okinawa. After the unification of Okinawa under King Sho Hashi in 1429 the trade alliances between Okinawa and main land China grew a hundred-fold, with the ports of Shuri and Naha becoming the centers of exchange. Next in our evolution comes the first prohibition of weapons in Okinawa, instituted by King Sho Shin in 1477, leading to the further spread of unarmed combat practice. This brings us finally to the invasion of Okinawa by Japan, led by Shimazu Iehisa in 1609. With the Japanese came the outright ban of weapons and martial practice, forcing Tode-ka to practice wholly in secret. This ban also brought a great amount of animosity and resentment of the Japanese to a head, producing a common enemy so to speak, causing the practitioners of the diverse schools of Tode to cooperate with each other and further improve technique. The art that evolved from this cooperation was referred to simply as Te once again.

Since the new arts had to be taught in secret, little was written. Their secrets and histories were passed on in a form of oral history. Thus three distinct styles emerged, these styles were named after the towns where their masters lived: Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te. Shuri-te developed emphasizing speed and direct techniques. Naha-te combined the soft and the hard techniques of Ch?uan-fa, emphasizing dynamic movement, breathing and flexibility. While Tomari-te included elements of both Shuri-te and Naha-te though its emphasis was on simple speed and agility. Eventually Shuri-te and Tomari-te became known as the Shorin Style, and Naha-te became known as the Shorei Style. Now, due to the fact that it had to be practiced in secret and its practitioners were so carefully chosen, Te developed a mysterious air and became extremely violent, having the elimination of an opponent as the chief goal in all styles.

After centuries of secret practice, Okinawan Karate-Do received a formal introduction to the Japanese public through Gichin Funakoshi. Born in Shuri in 1868, Funakoshi studied under Shuri-te masters Anko Itosu and Yasutsune Azato. An elementary school teacher by trade, Funakoshi was invited to the National Athletic Championships to demonstrate Karate-Do by the Japanese Central Secretariat of Physical Education. At this demonstration was Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, after watching Funakoshi perform, Kano requested that he stay and teach Karate-Do at the Kodokan Judo Dojo. While Funakoshi was teaching at the Kodokan, Okinawa- and especially Shuri was devastated by spring storms. Thus he returned to his home to help rebuild, during this restoration Funakoshi worked so much on the towns holdings and neighbors homes that his own home became neglected and rundown. When the restoration of the town was nearly complete Funakoshi returned to Japan and the Kodokan, shortly thereafter he received an invitation to a small dedication festival in Shuri. When he returned for the festival, he found that it was in his honor for his dedication and sacrifice for the town. The townspeople and government had joined together earlier that year, just after Funakoshi had returned to the mainland, to rebuild his home and to build him a new dojo- and above the door was a plaque that read Shotokan or "House of Pine Waves". The name is derived from Funakoshi?s pen name, Shoto or "pine waves". It was fairly well known that Funakoshi would often compose poetry while sitting on a bluff on the shore of Shuri watching the sea wind blow through the pine trees on shore.

Thus we now have Shotokan Karate-Do. With the dedication of the dojo Funakoshi left the Kodokan to return to his home and teach. Shortly thereafter he received a letter from the Commissioner of Schools for the Kagoshima Prefecture, Shintaro Ogawa requesting that he develop a physical education program for the Middle School/High School programs based around his new style, Shotokan. The formulation of this program included most of the basic kata that we see in most hard styles today, the Taikiyoku and the Heian Series. They are known now by dozens of names, but are all nearly exactly the same, based around an I or an H shape and including stances and techniques that build a solid, reliable base for karate-ka to begin their mastery of the arts. This physical education program was so successful and positive that it spread to the rest of Japan with masters like Itoku, Funakoshi, Miyagi, Ogusuku, Motobu and Hanashiro leading the way by example.

Shotokan has grown immensely, worldwide now having millions of practitioners. Following the traditions of our fathers in the arts, our Sensei?s and Shihan?s, we strive to hold on to the traditions and techniques that we have been taught, that are now as much a part of our lives as breathing. Again following in their footsteps we develop our own techniques and new traditions to pass on to the new generations of martial artists that come to us.

Gecko K. Martial Arts was honoured to have Professor Hilton personally submit his biography April 17, 1999. Thank you.

Bio - of Professor Larry Hilton, Nippon Ketsugo Ryu JuJitsu

Ketsugo ryu jujitsu *Below is a short biography from 1958 thru 1999. Prof. Hilton would like to thank and acknowledge all the Instructors in his career who have influenced his chosen path! - They are : Prof. Burke and his sensei Dae Shin Kim, Prof Don Wrobel, Dr.R. Sacharnoski, Prof Jim Gaines, Dr.Tom Burdine, Prof Bo Hardy and Sifu Chaun Ai. A special recognition to GRANDMASTER FLORENDO VISITACION who told me( I could go anywhere in the Martial Arts that I dream of!!)

Bio - of Professor Larry Hilton

Born August 20, 1943


10th degree Black Belt in Nippon Ketsugo Ryu JuJitsu, Certified by the "WORLD HEAD OF FAMILY SOKESHIP COUNCIL" And registered with the United States Martial Arts Association.

Larry was first introduced to wrestling in 1951 when his father started teaching him holds and takedowns he had learned as a High School wrestler. Larry's father had only been beaten twice in his 4 years of wrestling, both times by the Illinois state champion. By the age of 15 Larry had taken up amateur boxing in a tough neighborhood known then as (Rabbittown) located in Danville Il. It was the norm: to have to fight everyday if you were a young boy and lived in this area. He had a total of 120 fights winning 97 of them. Back then they fought 3 - 2 minute rounds. In the Summer they would hold these fights out doors in the neighborhood parks. In 1960 He took up Karate and rapidly earned his brown belt in Isshin ryu. He became bored with this and in 1962 met and began training with C.G.(Pat) Burke a former World War 11 Hand to Hand Combat Instructor. After 3 years Larry earned his Black Belt in Goshin Jitsu. In 1965 He joined the Illinois National Guard and was sent to Fort Lenordwood Mo. for his training. While there He met Franko Seamonds who taught him Jujitsu (Sosushi ryu).Larry earned his Black belt easily because of prior training in self defense.Upon returning to Danville he began studying again with Mr. Burke in Judo. He was elected to be the President of the local Judo club known as (KO Judo Dojo assoicated with the Armed Forces Judo Association.In 1969 He went to Indianapolis Indiana where he was tested and promoted to 2nd dan in Oikiryu Jujitsu by Professor R.Sacharnoski. This Master was the founder of the Jujitsu Black Belt Federation of America which at that time had over 20,000 members world wide.Larry was with the JJBBFA until 1974 and had earned his 4th dan. In 1975 He joined the International Golden Dragon Jujitsu federation and was promoted to 6th dan in 1981. This was also the same year the Larry Founded the National Ketsugo Ryu Jujitsu Association. It was accepted as a National Jujitsu Association affiliaated with the AAU at that time.By 1986 Larry had been promoted to 8th dan in Jujitsu by the Black Belt Board of the IGDJF.In 1987 Larry went to the Bronx New York and visited Grandmaster Florendo M. Visitacion where He was cross graded in VeeJItsu Jujitsu to 8th dan.Master Visitacion issued Larry a personal hand written scroll promoting him to the rank of PROFESSOR! In 1993 Prof Frank Sanchez founder of the WORLD HEAD OF FAMILY SOKESHIP COUNCIL invited Larry to become an elite member and recognized Him as Grandmaster of his Nippon Ketsugo Ryu Jujitsu System. Larry has earned Black Belt rank in Judo , Karate, Kenpo Jutsu , Aiki Jutsu and Masters of 3 different system of Jujitsu.(ALL CERTIFIED AND REGISTERED WITH THE UNITED STATES MARTIAL ARTS ASSOCIATION, UNDER O' SENSEI PHIL PORTER. Mr. Hilton has been featured in the following Martial Arts Magazines:....Official Karate, Inside Kung Fu, Inside Karate, Karate International and Ryus of the World! He is one of America's most sought after Combat Jujitsu Seminar Instructors.


1996-Grandmaster of the year--WHOFSC, Hall of Fame

Martial Artist of the Decade,1980-1990-GH Productions:

Outstanding Service Award 1991 and 1992- Toku Kai International:

Black Belt Lifetime Achievement Award- Shiai 96- Red Dragon Academy:

Self Defense Instructor of the Year- Living Well Health and Fitness Assoc:

The Hakutsuru Kai Jujitsu Award of Excellence:

Peoria Il, Police and Public Relations Award:


World Martial Arts Hall of Fame:

World Head of Family Sokeship Council Hall of Fame:

Martial Arts Masters, Pioneers and Legends Hall of Fame:


Prof Hilton's son Larry Shane Hilton,RN/BSN who lives in Covingtion Indiana has 15 years of training in at this time. He is the successor to the Nippon Ketsugo Ryu JuJitsu System.


The NKK was founded in 1981 after 23 years of research in the field of Self Defense by Prof Hilton. Ketsugo Ryu is a Combination of all the different arts he has trained in over the past 40 years. They are an open system which allows any jujitsu practioner to join and maintain there present rank. If you are interested in the NKK please visit NIPPON KETSUGO KAI-USA call 417-348-0409 for more information.

The release of my first book ever written about my system which will be released in Jan 2000. You may order it through or through NKK Productions at 124 East End Rd--Branson Mo 65616 . The price is $10.95 paper back and 200 pages.-Professor Larry Hilton-

Kenpo History

Kenpo's history is not at all easy to follow, but here is my stab at trying to describe the bare minimum.

Kenpo is a mixture of five cultures(in historical order): Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, Hawaiian (before Hawaii became a state) and American. (Hopefully Canadian will at some point be a part of that list.)

The word Kenpo is Japanese for "Fist Law" (Ken/fist, Po/Law) which in itself is confusing for this art started in China. Most people have heard of "Chinese Kenpo" or "American Kenpo." But Japanese? (For point of reference "Fist Law" in Chinese is CH'UAN FA.)

The name is the result of centuries of development and change. Despite it's birth in China, the art of "Kenpo" was passed down through the Mitose family who studied the original art in China in the 1600's and brought it back to Japan. The Mitose family were Japanese, so, naturally they used Japanese to describe their family system.

James M. Mitose moved from Japan to Hawaii and the style he taught there was called "Kenpo Jiu-Jitsu" (He wrote a book in 1953 called:"What is Self Defence?(Kenpo Jiu Jitsu).

James Mitose's second Shodan was William Chow. In 1949 Chow opened his own Kenpo club and he used the term"Kenpo Karate" to try and distinguish his system from "Kenpo Jiu Jitsu."

In the early 1950's Ed Parker(who was a Judo Shodan) started to take Kenpo Karate lessons with W.Chow. In 1956 Ed Parker moved to Pasadena, California where he opened his own Kenpo Karate school. Ed parker would later become the foremost pioneer of Kenpo to the American mainland. Ed Parker's 5th and 6th black belts were Al and Jim Tracy.

**Frances Romney kindley informed me of a part of Kenpo history regarding Ed Parker, that I never knew, give it a read!( The letter is after the Kenpo history.)**

Through the years of 1956-1960, Parker's system of Kenpo was called "Original Kenpo" because it was identical to that Mitose and Chow taught.(Parker called his system simply,"Kenpo Karate.") In 1961, Ed parker and Chinese Gung Fu Master, James Wing Woo co-founded,"Traditional Kenpo."

So, Kenpo has had a lot added to it over the centuries. Please don't take this short summary as a suggestion that Kenpo is not a "set" art. On the contrary, after so many years of development the Kenpo system knows what does and doesn't work, because of the fact that the style has been handed down from one generation to another for hundreds of years. (They have had a lot of practice.)

Many people call Kenpo the "ultimate in self defence." Kenpo training emphasises a scientific approach to combat. Kenpo disables an attacker with quick, efficient techniques. Kenpo has a counter for every kind of grab,punch,strike,charge or push. The counters range from simple escapes to joint locks, brakes, blocks, strikes and joint and nerve strikes.

A Personal Note

Read my personal note.

Kenpo History Add Ons

Chris "Padre" Bodley, was so kind to share some "un-commonly" known Kenpo Martial Artists.

We know of William K.S. Chow and Sam Kuhouha. Among their students was Ed Parker, Adriano D. Emperado, Maselichi Oshiro, and Bill Chun Sr.. (I am not sure if they are the only ones but they are the ones I could find out about)

Now we are aware of GM Parker's legacy and the one I want to bring to light is GM Adriano D. Emperado.

GM Emperado produced some great Artists such as John Leong, Marino Tlwanak, Walter Godin, Sid Asuncion, Leone Chariema, and Sonny Gascon.

Now Sid Asuncion trained Victor A. Madrid, who trained my Master Vince Martinez.

Of course there are a lot more people to this story but I don't have all the facts. Would it be great to get a huge Kenpo tree together and see who is attached to whom in the art. I hope this is helpful. I know these names might not sound familiar, but there are a lot of great martial artists that do not gain the fame as those who seek it.

Timothy D. Fisher, N.D., Ph.D. very kindley droped me a note to let me in on how he has learned Kenpo history. Thank you Dr. Fisher.

Since I studied Okinawa Kenpo in Hawaii, I can assure everyone, Ed Parker is still well remembered there. One of the things in the history I disagree with was the order of the growth of Kenpo. You wrote it traveled from China to Japan, then Okinawa, to Hawaii and then to the rest of the world. I have been taught, for 30+ years that after China was Okinawa then Japan, next was Hawaii where Polynesian Kenpo was born then out to the rest of the world.

Yours in the arts,

Timothy D. Fisher, N.D., Ph.D.

Frances Romney very kindley droped me a note to let in in on some little known Ed Parker history. Thank you Frances.

I wonder, however, why no one ever remembers in their stories about Ed Parker that he opened his very first schools here in Utah, long before hopping off to sunnier, richer California. His very first black belts are out here in the boonies of Utah. These are the forgotten Kenpo black belts ...Mills, Snelson, Crenshaw...the list goes on and on. He came from Hawaii to Utah to study at Brigham Young University. He recruited some top notch black belts from other styles and set up some schools in Provo and Salt Lake City before ever moving on to greener pastures. In all the stories I have read about him, the only ones who ever mention Kenpo's Utah roots are the Tracy's, who met him here, and had a school here, as well. And they delve more into his Mormonism teachings in Kenpo. Having met Mr, Parker here in Utah, and knowing that he actually started teaching "American Kenpo" here in Utah, it seems odd that no one ever mentions this part of his history.

Frances Romney
Black Dragon Association

Another interesting tid bit of Kenpo history,

Just alittle comment,everyone keeps forgetting CHARLES A SULLIVAN he was with ED 8 months after his arrival to L.A. MR.Sullivan became partners with ED the rest you can figure it out. JJ from jjs kenpo 3rd dan.


And another interesting tid bit of Kenpo history,

Alright, I here all kinds of things as I read this. One thing I agree with is that the art probably went through Okinawa before Japan. what I am wondering is why nobody talks about Mitose's original black belts? With the exception of William Chow, I seen no mention of them. The others are Thomas S.H. Young, Paul Yamaguchi, Arther Keawe and Bobby Lowe. Later on, while in prison, Mitose awarded Shoden to Bruce Juchnik. Now, I know that Mitose's son claims that he did too, but I have seen allot of people saying that Thomas barely knew his father let alone trained under him. I have a tendency to believe Hanshi Juchnik now on most things kempo. If not for his genuine love for man-kind, or his devotion and passion to preserve all martial arts and research into the arts further, even overlooking his incredible talents as a practitioner, it makes sense, see for yourself.

Ron Himmelhaver
Black Sash in gung fu
Blue belt in Kenpo
Black belt in Kempo


Castellanos, Ralph(Feb 24,1935) American Kenpo Karate Master

Castro,Ralph(Dec 30,1931) American Kenpo Karate pioneer & Master

Chow,William Kwai-Sun(July 13,1913-Sept 21,1987) American Kenpo Grandmaster

Loring,Steve A Great competitive Kenpo martial artist. Rated one of the, "Top Ten Karate Players in the US"(1967 Black Belt magazine)

Mitose,James (Dec 30,1916- March 26, 1981) Hawaiian Kempo Karate Pioneer

Nakamura, Shigeru (1892-1969) Okinawan Kempo Grandmaster

Oyata,Seiyu (Oct 18,1927) Okinawan Kempo Grandmaster

Parker,Ed(March 19,1931-Dec 15,1990) Cocidered the foremost pioneer of Kenpo to the American Mainland.

Tracy, Al Creator and the technical director of Tracy's Martial Arts System, and Ed Parker's 5th black belt.

Tracy, Jim Ed Parker's 6th black belt.

Trejo,Frank(Dec 24,1952) American Kenpo Karate Master

A Bit of Chito-Ryu History

Presley,Elvis(Jan 8,1935-Aug 16,1977) American Martial Artist

He was a Chito-Ryu student, at our Hombu dojo in Toronto there is a photo of him wearing our crest as a pendent on a suit. On Cyberdojo his background was discussed it they talked about one of his bodyguards being a Kempo student and that maybe they did a little training together but concluded his formal training was in Chito-Ryu (private lessons).
Thank you to the Victoria Chito-Ryu Club for this tid-bit of information.

Have you found a mistake or do you have your own Martial Arts history that you would like to share? Send it on in!

1998-2006 (The above information was found by reasearch from several sources and by contribution of site visitors. There may be mistakes in facts. Please, ask for permission before you use any part or the whole of this essay.Thank you)

There has been a recent trend of people pulling histories off of my site without asking. These were all submited to me by the above mentioned authors. SO, if there are any histories you would like to use just drop me a quick e-mail and ask permission, I am a nice person. I just feel very strongly about protecting the trust and name of these brilliant Martial Artists.

Please, if there are any mistakes or if there is something that you would like to add. Please e-mail me!

I Hope That I Have "Sparked" some intrest!

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